Meet FIDE Master Steve Ouma

Steve Ouma (with Martin Gateri and Ritvik Pendyala) is one of Kenya’s FIDE Masters. He obtained the FM title in 2014 due to his excellent performance at the 41st Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway. The Kenyan team didn’t do well, but Steve Ouma had 5 wins and an overall score of 6/9.

The FM title ranks below the title of Grandmaster (GM) and International Master (IM) but above the Candidate Master (CM) title. FIDE titles are obtained by passing a rating norm or achieving a certain place or result in a tournament. All 3 Kenyans obtained their FM title through their performance in international tournaments.

At the 2014 Chess Olympiad, Kenya played at the tail end of the tournament after losing in the first round to Belgium. In round 7 Kenya played Liechtenstein and lost the match 3:1. Steve Ouma played on board 4 against Andras Guller had a convincing win. That game is today’s Game Spotlight, so let’s take a look.

The Closed Sicilian (with the Alapin) are trusted ways to avoid the Open Sicilian with books full of theory. In today’s game, Black’s active play stopped White from advancing his pawns on the kingside. White seemed prepared and won the game in a well-executed endgame.

As a member of Equity Bank, Steve Ouma still plays chess in the Kenya Premier Chess League. But he never made it back to the Olympiad. As the CEO of Nairobi Chess Academy, his main focus is now on preparing the next generation of chess Olympians. In any case, he keeps the coveted FM title for life and will always remain Master Steve.

That’s all folks. Stay on top of COVID-19 by following the WHO Guidelines and Master the game of chess by playing the Closed Sicilian like Steve Ouma!

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